Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, returned to the Vatican on Thursday, where Pope Francis
received him at his new residence inside the Vatican. Benedict XVI went to live at
the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, from 28th February, when
he resigned as pope. He will now take up permanent residence at the “Mater Ecclesiae”
convent, which has been recently restored.
Among those to live with him are his secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the Prefecture of the Papal Household, and the four women of the “Memores Domini” lay association who have been part of the Papal Household for years, cleaning and cooking. Emeritus Pope Benedict’s new home is a monastery that was built over 20 years ago at the request of Blessed John Paul II. It has already housed four different cloistered orders over the years: Poor Claire’s, Discalced Carmelites, Benedictine nuns, and Visitandine nuns.
In these past two months, Pope Francis and the Pope emeritus have spoken several times by telephone, such as on 19 on Benedict’s saint day on March and on 16 April, his birthday. The two also met on 23 March at the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo.